Saturday, July 27, 2013

365 Poems in 365 Days: Poetry About Poetry

Of Japanese arts
Haikus are most curious
Except not this one

Number 108, a haiku about haikus.

365 Poems in 365 Days: I Watch Television

On Monday night I watched Young Justice
And then an episode of Burn Notice
Both had themes of family and sacrifice
I assume this was a melancholy coincidence

Number 107 is a true story as well! Anyone who thinks that I should watch less TV and write more poems; what will I write about without programs to inspire me?

Friday, July 26, 2013

365 Poems in 365 Days: More Like a Regular Aster than a Disaster

This year the comedy movies are disaster movies
The superhero movies are disaster movies
The action movies are disaster movies
Is there any movie that’s not a disaster?

Number 106. Not quite true either,

365 Poems in 365 Days: More Summer

The sun's eye seeks me
With baleful burning gaze
I hide with a hat

More haiku action with number 105

Thursday, July 25, 2013

365 Poems in 365 Days: Marriage

I am the marrying man
I meet people in the first flush of romance
Or when they see with the eyes of love
Or as they feel loneliness and despair
And I push them to propose

At Gretna Green or Las Vegas
Or the local church or temple
Or courthouse, registry office
City hall, woodland glade, lakeside house,
I watch the happy couple

I will be content at last
When everyone is bound in matrimony
Because my marriage is perfection
I just want everyone to feel
Happily married and happy ever after

Number 104. Another supervillain origin story, or just creepy?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

365 Poems in 365 Days: Disappointment

Kent County Council had a hundred word story competition
So I typed one up and sent it in
Spoilers: I didn’t win

Number 103 is a true story. This, my 77 word story for the 100 word short story competition, is not true.

The train, which had raced when trapped between the cliffs and the sea, now crawled past the docks. A white cruise ship watched my impatience from high above.
Finally we entered the tunnel. As we crept out I could see her waving on the platform. She was holding tight to someone’s hand.
I hid behind my newspaper. I did not get off. At last the train began the long, slow climb up the hill, away from her.
You can find the winners here.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

365 Poems in 365 Days: Pathfinding

While walking down to Sandwich Bay
On the path a man was peeing right in the middle
I glared at him but didn’t say
“Go in the bushes if you need a widdle.”

True story, Number 102.

Monday, July 22, 2013

365 Poems in 365 Days: Hannibal

TV review acrostic for number 101.

Holy crap this program is insane or
At the very least the horror is explicitly of the
Nightmarish variety. The FBI refuse to conduct a
Normal investigation, Crawford relying
Instead on a bunch of weird psychological profilers to
Bring serial killers to justice. This won’t end
At all well, I suspect. If you can stomach the gore there are
Lovely visuals and set pieces. Crazy but pretty good.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

365 Poems in 365 Days: Elf Poems 1

1. The Second Age, Twelfth Cycle, Year of the Dancing Hawk

In the morning of our lives
All the world is a garden for the fey.
The wild ocean, home of storm and swell,
The high plateau, running with wild horses,
In mortal cities where our songs are as precious as gold,
Under the canopy, as the trees are lashed with rain,
Watching tornadoes as the desert shows it’s rage.
The cycle of the seasons teaches us
That only through discipline and order
Do we have freedom to live our lives.
The rituals and courtesies
The patient formalities
That mortals misunderstand –
This is not who we are,
But what we must do
To most become ourselves.

Introduction. This is the first of a set of 10 poems, from the point of view of an immortal elf. The time period covered is hundreds, if not thousands of years. I have attempted to change the style of each one to reflect this, but not enormously for the extra-fictional reason that I wrote the first draft of all of them on one afternoon, and also because with a population of immortals, language and style would remain stable across long historical periods. Obviously Tolkien's elves were the big influence, but I'm also drawing  from some Norse and English myths as well as the interesting Japanese flavoured version in Tad William's Memory Sorrow and Thorn. Mostly though I've just made some stuff up.

Also, they mostly don't rhyme and the rhythm pretty gets loose at times. If this leads you to conclude that they are not poems, I'm okay with that.

As I posted these out of order as blogger displays most recent post first, this is actually the last of these I've written up. In the larger project this is number 100 of 365.

365 Poems in 365 Days: Elf Poems 2

2. The Second Age, Seventeenth Cycle, Year of the Eye

I see her first at midwinter.
My family sends me to guest
At the Orchard of Flowers
To pay our respects at the dark time.
I do my duty. I do not speak to her.

The years dance. I find myself
Warden at the goblin market
Judging disputes between fey and mortal.
A brawl breaks out. I stop it
With a blow from my staff of office.
It is not the approved method.
She sees it and it seems she does approve.

It is the equinox and the year hunt.
She joins our party.
Her family do not keep or kill animals.
They will disapprove of her choice.
We talk briefly and exchange names.
She is the finest archer I have ever seen.

A celestial object arrives in the sky.
She and I join the observers on the peak.
We greet it despite its ill-starred name –
The name it gave on its last appearance
To the mountain and the school beneath our feet.
We talk all night and arrange to meet again.
I bow. She blows me a kiss.

So this has swiftly become a love story. However my conception of immortality is that the elves will follow a profession, live a life, walk a path for a time - years, decades, centuries - then eventually move on and learn something new. Some of this will be heavily ritualised and organised, other things more free-form and improvised. Still, this set of poems are going to be a romance for a while until our protagonist finds something else to do. Poem 99 of 365.

365 Poems in 365 Days: Elf Poems 3

3. The Second Age, Seventeenth Cycle, Year of the Lost Ships

I meet my lover where the sun meets the sea
We shed the dignity of our immortality
Giggling like unfey, as heedless of propriety
As birds of the air; their mayfly courtships
Lasting mere days, their romances a season.
Later the fire burns down and we talk,
Arms wrapped around each other, enjoying the night.
Come dawn we will take on our responsibilities
Speak to our families, our clans, our elders.
Sing the songs, dance the steps
Give the feasts and the gifts
Honour promises and agreements
The web that binds fey to fey,
Fey to world and back again.
Tonight, though, is just the two of us.

Yes, they have sex. But what happens next? Poem 98 of 365.

365 Poems in 365 Days: Elf Poems 4

4. The Second Age, Eighteenth Cycle, Year of the Quiet Forest

The Elders do not approve.
The Creation-born – those who remember
When the sky was innocent of sun or moon -
Have seen this before, they say.
They tell us our joining is a mistake
Their wisdom, gathered over millennia
Informs them that our bloodlines
And personalities cannot match
And our relationship end in tragedy and disaster.
We bow our heads and accept their judgement.
She leaves for the Gardens of the Eastern Sky.
I choose not to see her again.
I visit the House of the Evil Star
To hone my skills amongst the peaks
To become a warrior, to try and forget.

Yeah, the love story doesn't work out. See, elves are magic and in tune with fate and destiny and stuff. So if they get together and come to the conclusion that the relationship will end in tragedy and disaster, this isn't a maybe, or, unless you love each other super much. The couple know this will happen. So they walk away, choosing a new path. Which is what they would have done if they hadn't fallen in love.

The creation born are something I wanted to mention because Galadriel, in Lord of the Rings, was born in the First Age before the sun and moon were in the sky, and while the earth was still flat. Later it became round and stopped being lit by giant magic trees, and she lived through it. Crazy stuff, but that's what elf immortality is about; the world changes but you don't.

Poem 97.